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  • Crystal Faircloth

Tis the Season -- for Sickness

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

With COVID-19 out of the way, the flu has returned to Columbus County.

Some local schools have been seeing higher than usual absences over the last couple of months.

Kelly Jones, Education Director for Columbus County Schools, reported 486 student absences during the month of November, but said that the numbers for this month were not as high and that the worst may be over.

"We have fewer absences yesterday than a month ago, so that suggests that illness/sickness is not playing an outsized role currently," said Jones.

As of Dec. 5, 432 students were absent with sicknesses.

Dr. Marc Whichard, Superintendent for Whiteville City Schools, reported higher than normal absences for the school district. Whichard emphasized the importance of parents keeping students at home to prevent the spread of sickness.

"We have seen a seasonal spike in the number of absences by staff and students. We are continuing to stress to parents the importance of keeping children exhibiting illness at home to recuperate. In addition, we are following our normal protocols for sanitation to ensure healthy and clean environments," Whichard said.

Health Director of Columbus County Kim Smith said there are currently no flu deaths on record for adult or children in the area.

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